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Disability Activist in Pakistan Jaffer Shah Shot and Killed in Front of His House in Karachi
BY: Abid Lashari
Two-year-old Shahzaib was playing with his father’s hands in the moonlight on Friday when a bullet fired at 9 pm brought the father-son interaction to an end on 22nd October 2010. Chairman APNA Sahara Trust Karachi Jaffer Shah was shot in the skull when he was sitting outside his house in Nazimabad Karachi with his son during a power outage in the area. “He was harmless. How can a person sitting on a wheelchair threaten anyone?” despite it he killed in Target Killing in Karachi. Shah was the kind of activist who left no stone unturned in making sure that the voice of the disabled community could be heard. He wanted to spread awareness about his cause so that the disabled people could be granted the minimum two per cent quota for jobs provided by the government. He worked for the rights of those people from the middle class and lower middle class who had lost their ability to walk. Shah lost his legs in a bullet fired at him 20 years ago at his village in Khairpur. While working for the city district government as the executive district officer for the last 10 years, Shah had also been running APNA Sahara, an NGO for the disabled, for nearly a decade. This was the platform through which Shah helped the disabled people in getting jobs and organized activities that helped them become a part of mainstream society.
SDF protested in wide range against target killing of Jaffer Shah. A protest rallies were staged against the target killing of disabled leader Jaffer Shah in Nawabshah, Karachi, Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Sanghar, Dadu and other cities of Sindh Province. Sindh Disability Forum (SDF) staged sit in and protest demonstration out side various press clubs against the brutal killing of Jaffer Shah Chairman APNA Sahara Karachi. President of SDF Abid Lashari, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, Mobin ud din, Javed Rais, Nishat Ahmed, Shah Nawaz Kandhro, Hafiz Naseer Khauwar, Azam Tareen, Mumtaz Mangi, Nabi Bux Shar, Muhammad Ali Phulpoto and others addressed to the protesters in respective cities, they strongly condemned the incident and said that our leaders with disabilities are being killed through proper conspiracy. They said that disabled people will never lose courage and would continue their struggle for their rights. They further said that their leaders are being killed through proper planning and target killing while such planning and killing would not be tolerated. They said that our leaders and workers are united to face the conspiracy of terrorists. They demanded from Sindh Government the immediate arrest of culprits involved in the killing of Jaffer Shah. They vowed to continue protest demos through out Sindh till the arrest of culprits. The funeral prayers of Jaffer Shah were held at Incholi Imam Bargah, where hundreds of friends, disabled and social activists, politicians, journalists and relatives attended the prayers. He was buried with watered eyes. Every eye was made tear on his death. He was great hero in disability movement in Pakistan. His services will remain remembered for ever.
Links of News Coverage:
Sindh Disability Forum
• House of Windows
• MODEL DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY POLICIES PRESENTED AT THE UNITED NATIONS
• WHO to collect comprehensive information for disabilities in Pakistan
• Nominations Open for U.S. FCC Chairman’s Award for Advancement in Accessibility (AAA)
• 1st International Emergency Response Conference, Karachi, Pakistan
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